One of the reasons Sex Addicts have such a hard time with recovery is the easy and free access to their mood-altered state…fantasy. Sex Addicts are able to trigger a hit of the pleasure chemical, Dopamine, to their brain and slide into a heavenly trance-like state by simply calling up images in their heads. Once they enter this state of mind their inhibitions fall away and all their resolution toward sobriety disappears. Eventually they are off to the porn sites, the massage parlors, public bathrooms, hooker row or their current lover.
I used to call this ‘teasing the addict’ when my husband would engage in what is called ‘yellow light’ behavior. He would rationalize that he was not acting out, so it was harmless. What he was denying was that once he entered his cozy little fantasy world he was headed straight downhill toward acting out with no brakes in sight. Whatever a Sex Addict’s bottom line is, entering the fantasy trance is the first step toward acting out and it is almost impossible to resist after that point.
True recovery involves much soul searching and usually a lot of counseling to be able to recognize that, just like potato chips, you can’t stop with just one thought. Controlling the thoughts that lead to acting out is necessary if a Sex Addict it truly committed to recovery.
Has your spouse or partner recognized that yellow light behavior is the first step toward acting out?
Denial is always the first step in integrating a horrifying painful reality. ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
My husband understands that yellow light behavior is the first step toward acting out, but is reluctant to tell me about his yellow light behavior. In fact, I asked him just the other day how much he was struggling and he told me it was none of my business.
It’s amazing to me that he wants me to trust him, yet he gives SO little to help build that trust.
Yes, but that is so typical of ‘addict talk’ and lack of empathy. If a Sex Addict is committed to their recovery there must be a commitment to total honesty and transparency. If he wants the relationship to work there is nothing that is off limits to you, even his innermost thoughts. That was a boundary that I set and that my husband accepted. That’s when I began to learn to trust–when I knew that there were no more secrets.
Is he truly committed to his recovery and to the relationship? If it’s none of your business then why are you there?
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My SA repeatedly says he never has a thought to return to porn and uses meditation to stay focused. Its been a little over 2 years since he’s been exposed. I never have believed him. He still is in denial.